Building a successful business takes lots of time and effort, so anything that can make the process easier is worth giving a shot. Digital technology can not only simplify and speed up many of your day-to-day business activities, but can also improve your overall customer experience as a result. Here are five ways to use technology to help make your business expansion easier:
Put your office in the cloud
Cloud-based productivity and business software isn’t just a more cost-effective option for small business. Using “software-as-a-service” like Microsoft Office 365 also allows you to access your essential work tools and documents virtually anywhere, and on any device. For small business owners who are constantly on the go – in other words, all of them – this makes it much easier to close deals, complete requests, and otherwise get things done much faster.
Sell online with all-in-one payment gateways
In the past, e-commerce used to require expensive digital security and lengthy negotiations with credit card companies. Now, any small business can install pre-made payment gateways, like PayPal or Square, to start selling online within minutes. These gateways handle all credit card authorisations and billing for you, and are built to be easily installed in a website. Easier e-commerce set-up can mean more sales, faster, knowing that you are using a payment gateway that already meets compliance and security requirements.
Take the hassle out of online marketing
Online marketing is all about following through with the customer, engaging with them from their first website visit right up to (and past) the point of sale. That used to be a pretty complex process requiring the help of specialist marketing agencies. Today, however, small business owners can use online website-building software to set all this up without any coding or “omnichannel” knowledge. GoDaddy’s Website Builder tool, for example, not only lets you quickly build a functional website but also connect it to the Email Marketing tool with a few clicks – automatically tracking new visitors and encouraging them to join your mailing list.
Optimise your website with a mobile-friendly CMS
Nearly 20 per cent of Australians now buy products via their mobile devices, so if your website doesn’t work well on mobile it could quickly become a no-go zone for customers. Optimising for mobile, however, can be as simple as choosing the right Content Management System, or CMS. WordPress, for example, includes a range of mobile-friendly premade themes, while GoDaddy’s Website Builder automatically converts your website into a mobile version when you publish it. With tools like these – mobile optimisation for your website can happen more easily.
Give customers – and yourself – peace of mind
If you’re selling products online, invest in an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate for your website. An SSL certificate shows your customers that your site is secure for sharing sensitive information, displaying the padlock icon in your browser’s address bar that we all rely on to assess a site’s trustworthiness. Give your customers peace of mind about entering their credit card details, and they’ll be more likely to make that first purchase. SSL certificates are also essential for certain online marketing tactics like Facebook apps…and they can prevent your site from inadvertently passing on data that could get it hacked.
If used smartly, technology can help make running your small business much easier, cutting down the expenses and complexities of setting up customer channels and maintaining efficient back-end processes. Just don’t get caught up with the hype of new technology – what matters most is how you use it.
Tara Commerford is the GoDaddy Country Manager, Australia and New Zealand